Ultrasound Scan at 10 Weeks of Pregnancy

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10 Weeks Pregnant Ultrasound

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If you are reading this, we take it that you are 10 weeks pregnant. Congratulations! Now that you are 10 weeks pregnant, you can stop worrying when you’ll start looking pregnant because you have reached that phase where your pregnancy bump will start showing. Your doctor may suggest an ultrasound scan around this time to make sure that your baby is healthy and is developing normally. An ultrasound, also called a sonogram, will help create a picture of your baby on a monitor with the help of sound waves. Read on to know why you need an ultrasound scan at 10 weeks of your pregnancy and how it is performed.

Why Should You Have an Ultrasound at 10 Weeks?

Following are the reasons for performing an ultrasound scan at 10 weeks of pregnancy.

1. To check the baby’s growth.

Your doctor may suggest an ultrasound scan at 10 weeks of your pregnancy to check the progress or growth of your baby. By conducting a scan, she will be able to identify whether or not your baby is developing normally. At 10 weeks of pregnancy, the foetus weighs about 4gm and measures around 3.1cm from crown to rump. An ultrasound will make it clear how your baby is developing. She will also calculate the baby’s gestational age based on these measurements and predict a due date.

2. To check for any abnormalities.

Between 10 and 14 weeks of your pregnancy, nuchal translucency scan (NTS) will be performed to test the foetus for the risk of Down syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities. In this, the unborn baby’s nuchal fold, which is the transparent back of the neck, will be measured to test for any abnormalities. This test is usually conducted in the 12th week of pregnancy.

3. To hear the baby’s heartbeat.

You must have heard your baby’s heartbeat through an ultrasound scan at around 8 weeks of your pregnancy itself. But you can hear it during the 10th week as well. Your doctor will perform this test to ensure that your baby’s heart functions normally.

4. To ensure that the baby’s organs are functioning normally.

In the 10th week of pregnancy, the skin of the foetus is translucent. This means that all the internal organs will be visible on the ultrasound scan. Thus your doctor will be able to gauge whether all the organs are developing normally and functioning properly or not.

5. To see how the spine is developing.

The spine should be visible by the 10th week of pregnancy. The doctor will conduct an ultrasound to check if the spine is developing normally.

6. To determine the position of the baby.

If this is your first ultrasound, then the doctor will tell you about the location of the pregnancy, i.e., the position of your baby. An ultrasound will help rule out an ectopic pregnancy.

How to Prepare for Your 10th Week Pregnancy Scan

To prepare for your 10-week ultrasound scan, you will need to have a full bladder. Going for the scan with a full bladder will help the ultrasound technician to get a clear image of the baby, the placenta, uterus, ovaries, and cervix. You will need to drink 3 glasses of water an hour before you have the ultrasound so that your bladder is full.

How Long Does It Take to Perform an Ultrasound Scan?

A typical ultrasound scan can take between 15 to 30 minutes to perform. The sonographer has to get a good image of the baby and also examine your uterus, placenta, and ovaries. If the baby is very active and moves around or is in an awkward position, the sonographer might take longer to capture clear images. And if clear images are not obtained, the scan may have to be rescheduled for some other time.

A pregnant woman ready for ultrasound

How Is an Ultrasound Scan Performed?

In order to perform an ultrasound, the sonographer will ask you to lie down on the examination table and expose your belly and abdomen. She will then apply some gel over your belly and press a wand called a transducer on the skin. This wand will send ultrasound waves that will form an image of your baby on the monitor. The technician will apply some pressure on your belly with the wand to get a clear view of the baby. The scan is not painful and is non-invasive. In some cases, the scan may be done vaginally if the abdominal scan fails to produce clear images. But you don’t have to worry – the vaginal probe is also not painful.

What Will You See on the Scan at the Tenth Week of Your Pregnancy?

Here is what you can expect to see in your 10-week ultrasound scan.

  • You might see your baby moving at the 10-week ultrasound. You can also expect to see your baby’s hands, feet, and head clearly.
  • As your little one’s skin will be transparent, you may also see the internal organs.
  • On the monitor, you will also see your baby’s heart beating and you will be able to hear it too.
  • You might see your baby’s forehead bulged. It is usually bulged to accommodate the growing brain. However, the forehead will flatten gradually.
  • You might also see your baby’s fingers and toes. You can also expect to see his nose and ears. You will see your baby’s eyelids but they will be closed.
  • Baby’s skeleton is complete, and the framework of the spine can be seen.

A pregnant woman holding ultrasound photo

No Movement at the 10th-week Ultrasound – Is this Normal?

If you do not see your baby moving at the 10th-week of your ultrasound, don’t worry. Chances are your little one might be sleeping in the womb. As long as your sonographer assures you that the baby’s growth, development, and heartbeat are normal, you need not worry.

What If Some Abnormalities Are Discovered in the Scan?

If any abnormalities are spotted in the 10-week ultrasound pictures, your sonographer or doctor will inform you about it. In such cases, the doctor may recommend further testing such as Chorionic Villi Sampling, blood tests, and amniocentesis to be certain. Based on the findings, the doctor will speak to you about the further course of action to be taken and may even refer you to a specialist.

The 10-week ultrasound scan is also called a dating scan, as it is used to determine the gestational age of the baby and predict the due date. The nuchal translucency test is part of this scan. Some parents may choose to get a printed picture of the scan to preserve as a memento. In some countries, the technician may be able to determine the gender of the baby. However, sex determination is illegal in India. The 10-week ultrasound is done to ensure that the foetal development is normal and the baby is healthy. So don’t miss this ultrasound if your doctor has suggested it. Go for regular tests and have a healthy pregnancy!

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Aarohi Achwal holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce and a master’s degree in English Literature. While working as an intern for an English daily, she realised that she likes writing above anything else. The idea of being heard without having to speak appeals to her. She likes to write research-based articles that are informative and relevant. She has written articles on pregnancy, parenting, and relationships. And she would like to continue creating content on health and lifestyle.